Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vacation Pictures

Hi Folks!  I'm sorry for such a long time between posts!  They were kind of hard to do from the campground, and it's been very busy here since we got home.  Just wanted to share some of the pics from our trip.  You can click on each picture to make it larger.  Enjoy the slide show!

Monday, July 19, 2010

High Country News

Hello friends!  Just a quick post to say "Hello from the beautiful North Carolina High Country"!  We are camping near Boone, NC for a week to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday (7/20).  

Yesterday (Sunday) we drove to Banner Elk, NC and visited an arts and crafts show, which was very nice - a bit pricey, but nice.  The pic below is of the lines of booths where people had their wares.

A pretty cottage in town . . .

I loved these bird feeders with succulents on top . . .

A precious teashop - apparently for sale if anyone is interested . . .

and a very large and cool bottle tree . . . .

That's about it for now - I'll keep in touch while we are away!  Blessings, Becky

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I've Got IT Bad!!!

BBS that is!  It's Bad Blogger Syndrome, and I really do have it bad!  But you see, these days life is just offering too many other opportunities and blogging is, sadly, taking a back seat!  Let me update you on what's going on with me!

Summer - enough said!  It's hot, humid, muggy and just overall messy.  I have to say that I think summer and fall are my two least favorite seasons here in northern Georgia.  But this summer has been a particularly hot one, so I am trying to stay in air conditioned places as much as possible. 

Home Stuff - my gardening has been non-existent this year.  So has cooking!  These days I cook to eat, rather than for a creative outlet, so we eat what I cook and we like it.  Period.  The house is a mess, the bare necessities get done, but that's about it!  Laundry - that gets done weekly, and I should be working on that now instead of sitting here typing to you!  Hmmmmmmm, BRB .................. Okay, I got the clothes sorted into loads and the first load going, so I'm good for a few minutes!  Anyway, you get the picture about how things are going around the house!

Farmgirl Stuff - in a word AMAZING!  Our little group is growing by leaps and bounds!  We had our July meeting this past Saturday, and our little Hen House was just packed!  We had about 17 people in total, three (yes, 3) guest speakers, and the incredible joy of having 5 new ladies join our group!!!  How wonderful is that!!! 

Plus, we have two new community service projects we are getting involved in!  First is a local church ministry and we will be partnering with them to help collect clothes, food, toys, school supplies, etc. for the people of a small mountain community north of here.  A very exciting undertaking, and one of the ladies involved joined our group on Saturday.

Next is a project that I am chairing, and I am very excited about!  In the August/September issue of Mary Jane's Farm magazine there was an article about a woman who is trying to help the people of the island of Luta (Rota) collect books for their 'bookstore'.  The island is one of the Mariana Islands, a US Commonwealth which is located about 50 miles from Guam.  Aimee Steiner, once in the marketing business, quit her job and found her mission, and I believe her heart, on this island where she is teaching people to read and that they can change their world if they learn to read.  I have communicated with Aimee via email a few times, and she is such a sweetheart!  Our chapter will be collecting new and gently used children's books, basic school supplies, and money to help cover the costs of shipping - which are incredibly expensive!  Within hours of presenting this project to our group, one of our former members (who is moving out of state) had donated three boxes (approx. 100) of children's books, so we hope to send the first shipment as soon as we have raised money for shipping. If you would like to donate to our cause, please email me at mycamelliacottage@yahoo.com .  You can find out more about Aimee's project HERE.  I will keep you posted on our progress.

Thursday Night Craft Party is our weekly get together of the GA Farmgirls.  Anyone who wants can come, bring a project to work on or help work on the GAFG scrapbook, or join a class.  This week I am teaching how to make one of these . . .

 . . . a Farmgirl Brooch.  I will be selling the kits for $5 and teaching the class for free.  Kits include detailed instructions and everything you need except scissors, needle and thread, and fabric glue, which I will be providing for the class.  If you are interested in purchasing a Farmgirl Brooch kit, or one that is already made, please email me.  I have them made out of new, or vintage fabrics in a variety of colors.

Personal - Things are really changing for me these days - in a good way!  Opportunities are coming my way, and I am trying to make even more opportunities.  One of our new farmgirl members has a gift shop (consignment) with low (reasonable) fees, and I am working on things to put into her shop for the fall and Christmas seasons.  They also have groups that come through their farm for field trips, and she wants me to teach classes at their facility, and I am very excited about that opportunity!  Another friend is working on opening up a shop with handmade and vintage treasures, and I hope to put things in that shop as well.

Hubby and I will be celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary next week, and are going away for a few days.  Our dream had been to go to Hawaii for our 25th, but due to 'economic restrictions' that is not going to happen, so we will be camping in the North Carolina High Country instead.

Friends - And this falls under personal, but I wanted to share this with you separately.  Those of you who read my blog know that when I joined the Farmgirls I met the chapter leader Mary Ann, and we bonded very quickly, and strongly.  I am forever amazed at how much alike we are, but at the same time how  different we are!  We work together so well, she has strengths where I have weaknesses, and vice versa.  We call each other 'sister', and I do feel like I have the sister I've always wanted!  A real Soul Sister! 

Mary Ann at her booth at the June Flea Market

Then came Phyllis! 

Phyllis and me at Thursday Night Craft Party

Phyllis joined the farmgirls a month or two before me, and while I knew her, I didn't know much about her until she started coming to Thursday Night Craft Party.  One evening Mary Ann and I were working at the Hen House, trying to get things organized and cleaned a bit, and Mary Ann suggested I call Phyllis and ask her to come join us.  I called her and within 15 minutes she was there.  We worked together so well, and the work was blended with love and laughter!  And do you know what she said?  Phyllis was standing at the table and she got quiet and said "Do you know, that in the 7 years that we have lived up here, no one has ever called me and said 'do you want to come over'!  Since that night the three of us have become 'treasure hunting' buddies and so much more.  We have even chosen 'aliases' that we can use for each other.  They are old fashioned names, and I love them, and no, I'm not ready to share them with you yet!

For seven plus years I prayed for a neighbor, and now I have two.  No, we don't live in the same neighborhood, Mary Ann is about 3 1/2 - 4 miles and Phyllis more like 8-10 miles, but I have found that being a neighbor is very much a 'state of the heart'.  And to be honest, there's plenty of room in my neighborhood of the heart for new neighbors!

I am so grateful for the gifts God has blessed me with these days!!!

As a side note, as I am typing this I am watching a pair of Carolina wrens outside my window.  It appears they are looking for a place to nest, poking their noses beaks in all kinds of places.  Wrens are like that - they are always busy and perky and chirpy and getting things done.  But do you know, I have no doubt that when one of them takes a break on a limb somewhere for a little rest, God will point out to them just the perfect place for their nest.  Because it's when we rest in Him and listen and watch, and let Him do His work, that we find what we really needed all along.  God is good like that!

Blessings friends!  Becky 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Goods!

Hi Everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful July 4th weekend!  Hubby and I had a pretty quiet weekend for the most part, and it was great!  Sunday night did end with a huge BANG! though, because apparently almost everyone in our area bought fireworks for the occasion and I've never heard such a racket!  And there were some of the big guns in there, too!  Huge booms that shook our house and rattled the windows!

We ate well over the weekend, too!  Saturday night was a rotisserie chicken, Sunday night grilled pork chops, and Monday night some of the best ribs I've ever made - they were SOOOOO good!

But now, I wanted to show you all the goodies I sent to Kathi, my partner in the Vintage Vacation Swap.  I have to say I have been a bit disappointed with this, my first swap.  Communication with my partner has been minimal and I was looking forward to getting to know one another a bit.  And I didn't know until I had already sent out my goodies that the leader had extended the dates for the swap, so while mine went out a day (I thought) early, it ended up being a week plus early!  But it's okay, I haven't let this experience turn me against swaps, in fact I have already signed up for another one!

My theme for the 'vacation' was "A Trip to Paris", and one of the requirements for the swap was to give at least two vintage or thrifted items with a vacation theme.  I found a vintage Paris hankie, a 1950's 'French Impressionists' book, and an old (based on the cars, probably 1940'sor 50's) post card of the Champs-Elysées in Paris. 

Another suggestion was to add some items for your partner's stash.  I was so lucky to find some vintage French satin ribbon - in Kathi's favorite colors of pink and aqua blue - on ebay for a song!

Another suggestion was something good to eat, and when Kathi said she loved chocolate, I found this great website called 'The Frenchy Bee' and ordered a French chocolate bar and some French cookies.  The tin with the large pink button holds organic French lavender.  I decorated it with some vintage fabric from my stash that has pink and purple fleur de lis scattered all over it.  You'll see more of that fabric in a minute!

Something hand made was the last thing on the list, and I consider the hand made yoyo's from vintage fabric to be both something hand made AND something that she can use in her own creations.  Aren't those fleur de lis pretty???

And last, but definitely not least is the biggie hand made item - a penant banner with the word CREATE for Kathi to put in her studio.

I made it from cardstock and a shiny pink organza ribbon, pink silk flowers, yoyos from the fleur de lis fabric, and all kinds of things like rubons, buttons, gems and pearls, millinery flowers, Stickles, etc. from my stash, and in the center, a tag with roses, a crown and French text from Bluebird Lane shop on Etsy.  This was a lot of fun to make!!!

You know, sometimes things just come together like they are meant to be, and I sure hope Kathi likes her goodies.  AND I can't wait to see what she has gathered for me!

I'm off to a friend's house to do some work for the GA Farmgirlls, so I'd better get with it!  I'll talk to y'all later!  Becky